Good afternoon everyone. It is an absolutely beautiful day here in Boston and unfortunately I'm stuck inside at work. Nevertheless here is a fun, though less produced cover of the Klaxons' barnstormer Golden Skans by fellow Brits the Kaiser Chiefs. The original track is also included in all of its electro, falsetto goodness. Enjoy.
February 28, 2009
Good afternoon everyone. It is an absolutely beautiful day here in Boston and unfortunately I'm stuck inside at work. Nevertheless here is a fun, though less produced cover of the Klaxons' barnstormer Golden Skans by fellow Brits the Kaiser Chiefs. The original track is also included in all of its electro, falsetto goodness. Enjoy.
Last night I was flipping through the channels and came across an interesting musical program. It was the PBS broadcast of Wednesday night’s Performance at the White House in tribute to Stevie Wonder. The concert celebrated Wonder being awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and featured performances by Stevie as well as artists ranging from India.Arie to Paul Simon, all singing Wonder songs. There were some great performances (and some not-so-great), but what struck me most was the President’s engagement with and enthusiasm for the music. I was heartened to hear Obama speak eloquently about American music and its value: “This could be called the American tradition – artists demonstrating the courage and talent to find new harmonies in the rich and dissonant sounds of the American experience…This gift that music affords us, transporting us from the here and now, relieving us of our burdens, even if it’s just for the length of a song.”
Government and the arts have historically had an interesting, contentious relationship in this country, recently exemplified in the debate over whether to include funding for the National Endowment for the Arts in the stimulus bill (in the end, the bill allocated $50 million to the NEA). There have also been cries for the creation of a Secretary of the Arts, advocated by such musicians as Quincy Jones. A petition that endorses the creation of such a position has been circulating all year, and as of now has a total 237,000+ signatures. Lovers of the arts have easily been caught up in this enthusiastic quest, yet it should be noted that the last attempt by the US government to involve itself heavily in the arts was short-lived. In 1935, FDR created the Works Progress Administration, which included a Federal Music Project (FMP). The FMP funded the dissemination of jazz as well as classical music, and supported an estimated sixteen thousand musicians. But by 1938, it had come under attack from the increasingly conservative congress, and was practically eliminated by 1939 (and officially eliminated in 1943).
It is hard to know whether similar government involvement would meet with the same fate in this day and age. It would certainly be difficult for the effort to gain much traction while the government is dealing with the economic meltdown, healthcare reform, two wars, etc. And I’m not sure that the arts really need a cabinet-level position to coordinate arts education and cultural support and development. While record companies are failing, I think that music itself is thriving—more people are taking advantage of web technology to listen and discuss, and live music is becoming more popular every year. Who knows how the government’s relationship with music and the arts will progress, but for now let’s just be content that our President on occasion employs his eloquent, influential voice to speak of the power and importance of music.
Here are a few tracks that, in Obama’s words, transport me from the here and now and relieve me of my burdens, even if only for a song.
Stevie Wonder – For Once In My Life (YSI) (filesavr)
Hide Me in Thy Bosom – The Dixie Hummingbirds (YSI) (filesavr)
Mozart – Canzonetta sull’Aria from Le Nozze di Figaro (YSI) (filesavr)
February 27, 2009
We're about to go on a slick run of Stu Reid Under The Covers editions these next few days - get psyched. I've been sitting on these covers for a while, looking for the right time to drop them in, and now seems perfect. Couple that with the fact that Zack has some super-sweet covers up his sleeve, and you had better put on your seatbelt.
Today's chapter features one bird and one bee, three covers, and a sweet original track.
The Bird and the Bee could be called Serial Coverers. These guys make some pretty stellar original jams, but they first caught my eyes with hauntingly beautiful covers of a variety of tracks that I'd like to share with you today.
The first, coincidentally the first that I was exposed to, is a cover of the BeeGee's "How Deep Is Your Love". My fondest recollections of this song come from serenading it with a group of friends in college - it's a really romantic song (although we probably didn't convey that). Lead singer Inara George (The Bee) really carries this spacey-electro track, turning a sappy sweet 70's song into a truly beautiful, minimalist tune.
The Bird and The Bee - How Deep Is Your Love (BeeGee's Cover) (YSI) (filesavr)
The second track is a little more recent, and is again a slowing-down-and-stretching-out of a bouncy tune - Rihanna's "Don't Stop The Music". This cover doesn't work quite as well as "How Deep Is Your Love", but if you're a fan of the acoustic version of Umbrella, or love Inara George's voice + bells, this track is definitely for you.
The Bird and The Bee - Don't Stop The Music (Rihanna Cover) (YSI) (filesavr)
I debated between TBATB's cover of Carol Of The Bells (which really is fantastic) and an original tune, and decided that an original tune deserves some pub. This one is a fantastic track that is everything you'd expect after hearing the first two covers, except so much more. More synth, more percussion, more vocals and bells. It's off of their exceptionally titled "Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future" LP that dropped in late January, and it makes me really excited to hear more from this duo.
The Bird and The Bee - Love Letter To Japan (YSI) (filesavr)
February 26, 2009
Its almost that magical time of year in sports when Spring Training and March Madness rejuvenate all sports fans from the winter torpor of hockey and basketball. Don't get me wrong, I love the Celtics unconditionally and enjoy watching the Bruins, but there is nothing like the limitless hope and promise of spring that accompany spring training and just the sheer volume of exciting upsets and buzzer beaters that March Madness entails. Everyone needs a little kick in the pants as the winter drags on and for sports fans at least, that jolt is almost here. Just keep hanging on and remember that anything is ppooosssiibbbllleee! Here are a few choice tracks of basketball rap, ranging from vaguely legitimate (Shaq) to arrogant (Kobe) and smooth-as-hell (JKidd). All of these tracks are pretty hilarious and listen for the Tyra Banks vocals on the Kobe track and all of Shaqs devestatingly precise rhymes. Besides getting way too many Q's in scrabble, Shaq is a hilarious (and abnormally large) human being and as to be expected Shoot Pass Slam has some absolutely hilarious lyrics.
Kobe Bryant - K.O.B.E (YSI) (filesavr)
Shaquille O'Neal - Shoot, Pass Slam (YSI) (filesavr)
Gary Payton - Livin' Legal and Large (YSI) (filesavr)
Jason Kidd - What the Kidd Did (YSI) (filesavr)
February 25, 2009
So it seems that as Zack has started to emerge from his music rut, I've started to fall into one. So many good songs came out at the beginning of the year that I'm having trouble switching my pace from frenzied to steady. The prescription? Remixes.
February 24, 2009
With the Stupot I'm going to start throw out a few songs that are sort of similar or have some common thread that I'm listening to a lot right now (not that that's what I do on a usual day). And without further ado, here we go.
Today, partially inspired by Slumdog Millionaire's success at the Oscars, I have two tracks that feature rousing female vocals coupled with really crisp and precise rhythms. Both tracks utilize staccato pianos lines alongside an assortment of synths, handclaps and other electronic instruments to create deep and layered beats. Its pretty money whenever Amanda Blank breaks in on Extra Ball and M.I.A.'s voice just works perfectly with what those evil masterminds over at DFA concocted for their Paper Planes remix. I still cannot get over how perfectly Paper Planes fit into Slumdog Millionaire with the whole train riding montage (those kids are so cute). A.R. Rahman deserves every word of praise for such an excellent and eye-opening score (GO PURCHASE IT).
Yuksek - Extra Ball (YSI) (filesavr)
M.I.A. - Paper Planes (DFA Remix) (YSI) (filesavr)
February 23, 2009
Well the Oscars were last night, and for the first time in a while I tuned in for the whole shebang.
Highlights: Penelope Cruz's speech, the Milk screenwriter's speech, Beyonce tearing it up, Bill Maher's rubber suit, Phillipe Petit balancing the Oscar on his chin, Will Smith saying "Boom Goes The Dynamite", the John Legend v. AR Rahman song-battle, etc. etc. etc.
I was 7/8 in the 8 major categories, I'm pretty psyched about that. Would have been perfect except for a last minute switch from Penn to Rourke. Damn.
Even though it was more of a movie night, let's get some tunes up in here. A couple tracks in honor of those sweet little gold men - the first from Stars (get it, like film stars?) and the second, Solid Gold, by The Golden Filter. Pretty awesome tracks that seemed somewhat topical.
The opening line of this Stars track is one of the coolest openings around. It would be awesome to open up a huge hip-hop track, but it's pretty cool here too. Apparently the quote is from lead singer Torquil Campbell's dad, who must have been a total badass.
The Golden Filter is an unsigned band out of NYC, and they're pretty sweet. You may know them from their great remix of Peter Bjorn and John's "Lay It Down", which is definitely worth a listen. I grabbed this track from the SXSW page, which is chock full of great tunes worth hearing.
Boom goes the dynamite!
Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead (YSI) (filesavr)
The Golden Filter - Solid Gold (YSI) (filesavr)
February 21, 2009
Ever have that thing where you listen to a song the first time and are underwhelmed, only to have that song completely dominate your mind and become one of your favorites over the course of two days? Rarely has that happened more quickly and thoroughly than with the newest K'naan cut to cross my path, "America".
February 20, 2009
This week, I’d like to get a little bit meta and write about music writing. In this age of blogs, there is no shortage of music writing and criticism out there for consumption. But what makes music writing good? Or is writing about music even worthwhile? Elvis Costello once famously compared writing about music to “dancing about architecture,” concluding that it is “a very stupid thing to want to do.” A clever turn of phrase, Mr. Costello, but I beg to differ. I believe that expressive, passionate writing about a song or piece or album has the potential to truly transform a listener’s perspective. Admittedly, a lot of music writing fails to achieve this. Reviews often, in striving for objectivity, achieve a dry, almost meaningless result. And less objective writing is often rendered trivial by excessive use of shallow personal impressions. The line between these two extremes is certainly a difficult one to walk.
One man who walked it successfully was Lester Bangs (you may remember the name from Almost Famous). Bangs is widely recognized as among the greatest rock n’ roll writers of all time, and I highly recommend picking up Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, a collection of Lester’s writings first published in 1987. The first review in this collection is a 1979 essay on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, and it really opened my eyes to this terrific album. I had purchased the album years before, and had never really liked it. I had been bothered by the nonsensical lyrics, particularly Van’s incessant repetition of two- or three-word phrases. For example, from the song “Madame George”: "And the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves to love the love that loves to love the love that loves.” What on earth is he babbling on about? Yet after reading a few paragraphs from Bangs’s column, I approached such lyrics with a new perspective. Bangs writes:
Van Morrison is interested, obsessed with how much musical or verbal information he can compress into a small space, and, almost conversely, how far he can spread one note, word, sound, or picture. To capture one moment, be it a caress or a twitch. He repeats certain phrases to extremes that from anybody else would seem ridiculous, because he's waiting for a vision to unfold, trying as unobtrusively as possible to nudge it along…It’s the great search, fueled by the belief that through these musical and mental processes illumination is attainable. Or may at least be glimpsed.Now, one might write this pseudo-mystical explanation off as nonsense itself. Yet what strikes me as so effective about Bangs's writing here is how it fits the music—its mood, its rhythm, its essence—perfectly. It is difficult to evaluate this claim without hearing any of the songs from Astral Weeks, so below are a couple of tracks, as well as a link to the text of the Lester Bangs essay.
Track 1: Astral Weeks (filesavr)
This title track is probably my favorite cut of the album, and before I sign off I'd like to point out a moment in this song that I particularly enjoy: the transition from chorus to verse. The lyrics of the chorus are as follows:
Could you find me?As the chorus begins, buzzing, trembling strings are added to the texture, creating a sense of tension and restlessness. As Van reaches the chorus's final line, the strings are removed, releasing the tension and leaving behind a sense of peaceful arrival that wonderfully fits the lyrics of rebirth.
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
Track 6: Madame George (filesavr)
Lester Bangs Column
Stu Reid the man was known to get quite silly on occasion, but now is not the time nor place to discuss those stories. You might remember that while driving back from Maine this past weekend, I was listening to a bunch of old mix CDs. One of those CDs was from sophomore summer up at Dartmouth when you are required to take classes. I had just finished this terrifying biology class and put together this CD to celebrate. On it were the likes of Toxic (one of my all time favorites), Madonna, EMF, Ram Jam, Peanut Butter Jelly Time and a bunch of other wacky tracks mixed in with some rap. A hidden gem from the CD was the completely absurd song Boogie in your Butt by Eddie Murphy. Needless to say devoted fan x was not amused as much as I was by the song. Here are a few tracks from that fun jaunt down memory lane and while fun, it still has not cured my music rut.
Britney Spears - Toxic (YSI) (filesavr)
EMF - Unbelievable (YSI) (filesavr)
Eddie Murphy - Boogie in your Butt (YSI) (filesavr)
February 19, 2009
So I am officially in a music rut. I hate how they sneak up on you and then out of nowhere *wham* you have nothing new and nothing appeals to your ears. These are frustrating times for my ears right now. In an effort to cure my aural malaise I listened to a bunch of old mix cds while driving up to Maine to ski this past weekend. In addition to belting out some Alicia Keys, Nelly Furtado and Kelly Clarkson I was reminded of myriad bands that I had simply forgotten about. I loved hearing Clap your Hands Say Yeah and the Rapture again, but my biggest rediscovery was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. What a coincidence that I came across what had been one of my favorite bands right when they are gearing up to release a new album (Its Blitz is slated to be released on April 13, 2009). Pretty good timing huh? Every song has a ferocious, desperate energy and thundering yet precice instrumentation that together rip open your chest cavity and make your heart beat faster. While not entirely curing my music rut, Karen O, Brian Chase and Nick Zinner are definitely helping out (assuaging my rut if you will). More on my mix CD odyssey coming soon.
Three golden oldies (Too many great tracks to choose from):
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Y Control (YSI) (filesavr)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Phenomena (YSI) (filesavr)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - The Sweets (YSI) (filesavr)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero (YSI) (filesavr)
February 18, 2009
So, as has been reported by everyone and their mother, SXSW has announced their lineup and their schedule. There are an unbelievable mumber of really great artists performing in a four day period, making even the most casual of indie music fans drool with anticipation. Despite whatever SXSW qualms you might have, it remains the best place in the world to see great upcoming stars in informal and fun settings.
February 17, 2009
I just drove back from Philly back up to Boston after a great visit home to see some friends and family. Didn't get to catch a show at the First Unitarian, unfortunately, but I did see the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities, which is gross and awesome. Woot.
The car ride home was standard fare - me belting out tunes at the top of my lungs out of tune until I got a sore throat. I sang everything from old school Dispatch to Celtic standards to James Taylor, and had a blast while doing it. Something awesome about singing in the car alone.
The main offender that kicked off this singing spree is a track from Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, off of the Dark Was the Night compilation that was released today. It takes Wild Mountain Thyme - a traditional Irish song about going somewhere with a lass, building a bower, and then finding a replacement lass - and puts new lyrics over the familiar tune. It's really an exceptional song.
Stuart Murdoch - Another Saturday (YSI) (filesavr)
I also found myself shouting along with Tunde Adebimpe's brilliant cover of Neil Young's "Unknown Legend" from the Rachel Getting Married soundtrack. It's an a cappella take that was apparently recorded in Tunde's trailer on set, and it's beautiful, haunting, heartwrenching. I love this track.
Tunde Adebimpe - Unknown Legend (Neil Young Cover) (YSI) (filesavr)
Finally, another track from the Dark Was the Night compilation that dropped yesterday. The Books are really good at making calm electro music, and Jose Gonzalez is really good at singing. They let their powers combine like Captain Planet, and completely dominate this track. Buy the full record here to fight AIDS and support the Red Hot Organization.
The Books and Jose Gonzalez - Cello Song (YSI)
February 16, 2009
Happy birthday Lincoln, Washington, Lincoln and all those other historically important figures! In honor of these great people who have shaped our modern world I give you an eclectic President's Day grab bag of random new music that I like. Check them out, sit back, relax, recharge and enjoy the rare three day weekend that encompasses not one, but two holidays. I am off skiing and I hope you're having a great weekend as well. Also, that Raekwon track is pretty money for a lethargic day.
Gui Boratto - Take My Breath Away (YSI) (filesavr)
Body Language - Huffy Ten Speed (YSI) (filesavr)
Raekwon ft. Ghostface Killah - Wu Ooh (YSI) (filesavr)
February 14, 2009
Valentine's Day is for lovers. Devoted fan X and I have a very unique relationship. I get to be as weird as a want and she usually puts up with it. So today I'm going to say thanks and show my reverence. !!! are an incredibly fun group with their crazy instruments and vocalists and they put on one of the best live shows that I have even seen. At Lollapalooza this past summer with devoted fan x, !!! just tore the house down on a sweaty summer evening. So here are a couple of great !!! jams to propel you through today and hopefully help you cut loose a bit. I just love the title all my heroes are weirdos, because it is so very true. Have a great V Day.
!!! - All My Heroes are Weirdos (YSI) (filesavr)
!!! - Heart of Hearts (YSI) (filesavr)
February 13, 2009
Some changes are on the way here at TSRE, including some fly new graphics, a transition to WordPress, and some other goodies. One of said "Goodies" is a new contributing writer, who will be dropping knowledgable tidbits on a weekly basis. This man knows more about music than most and was wearing plaid before it was in style. Word to your moms, without further ado I give you Ben, the artist formerly known as Nomo. Kick It! As a way of introduction, I'd like to reflect back on the music that provided the soundtrack to my middle school years. While songs like "Truly Madly Deeply" and "The Boy Is Mine" dominated the pop airwaves, I was busy developing a pseudo-worshipful relationship with a certain all-white rap trio from NYC: the Beastie Boys. I still remember the first time I heard the simple yet sublime rhymes of Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D on "Intergalactic", in a summer camp cabin in New Hampshire. I quickly learned all the lyrics, and the Beasties quickly became my idols. I doggedly chased down all of their albums, from their classic debut Licensed to Ill ("Brass Monkey", "Fight For Your Right") to Hello Nasty("Intergalactic", "Body Movin'"), and everything in between. I dutifully learned the lyrics to every hit, and would rap along whenever one came on the radio. The Beastie Boys gave me an ill-founded hope that an awkward 13-year old at an all-boys school like myself might someday bloom into something a little more badass. Sadly, I can't bear to listen to the Beasties anymore. I cringe every time I hear the whiny, high-pitched voices, and the posse-style rhyming where all three yell the last word of every line ("Coming from Uranus to check my STYLE!!!!"). But my years of Beastie-worship were not without value. For one thing, I bonded with my first girlfriend over the Beasties (we "dated" for about two weeks). And, more importantly, the BBoys introduced me to A Tribe Called Quest by featuring Q-Tip as a guest rapper on "Get it Together," from their 1994 album Ill Communication. I remember listening and realizing that, by golly, this Q-Tip character has more flow than Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D combined! And thus began a love for the Tribe that continues to this day—a topic for another week. Here are a couple Beastie Boys tracks that I can still bear to listen to, as well as a track from the Tribe. "Shadrach" is a funky, dance-y track off of the Beasties' most critically acclaimed album, Paul's Boutique (1989). Then there's "Get it Together", which I mentioned above, and, from the Tribe, "Check the Rhime," a jazzy track that demonstrates the characteristically playful rapport between rappers Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. - Ben
Some changes are on the way here at TSRE, including some fly new graphics, a transition to WordPress, and some other goodies. One of said "Goodies" is a new contributing writer, who will be dropping knowledgable tidbits on a weekly basis. This man knows more about music than most and was wearing plaid before it was in style. Word to your moms, without further ado I give you Ben, the artist formerly known as Nomo.
As a way of introduction, I'd like to reflect back on the music that provided the soundtrack to my middle school years. While songs like "Truly Madly Deeply" and "The Boy Is Mine" dominated the pop airwaves, I was busy developing a pseudo-worshipful relationship with a certain all-white rap trio from NYC: the Beastie Boys. I still remember the first time I heard the simple yet sublime rhymes of Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D on "Intergalactic", in a summer camp cabin in New Hampshire. I quickly learned all the lyrics, and the Beasties quickly became my idols. I doggedly chased down all of their albums, from their classic debut Licensed to Ill ("Brass Monkey", "Fight For Your Right") to Hello Nasty("Intergalactic", "Body Movin'"), and everything in between.
I dutifully learned the lyrics to every hit, and would rap along whenever one came on the radio. The Beastie Boys gave me an ill-founded hope that an awkward 13-year old at an all-boys school like myself might someday bloom into something a little more badass.
Sadly, I can't bear to listen to the Beasties anymore. I cringe every time I hear the whiny, high-pitched voices, and the posse-style rhyming where all three yell the last word of every line ("Coming from Uranus to check my STYLE!!!!"). But my years of Beastie-worship were not without value. For one thing, I bonded with my first girlfriend over the Beasties (we "dated" for about two weeks). And, more importantly, the BBoys introduced me to A Tribe Called Quest by featuring Q-Tip as a guest rapper on "Get it Together," from their 1994 album Ill Communication. I remember listening and realizing that, by golly, this Q-Tip character has more flow than Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D combined! And thus began a love for the Tribe that continues to this day—a topic for another week.
Here are a couple Beastie Boys tracks that I can still bear to listen to, as well as a track from the Tribe. "Shadrach" is a funky, dance-y track off of the Beasties' most critically acclaimed album, Paul's Boutique (1989). Then there's "Get it Together", which I mentioned above, and, from the Tribe, "Check the Rhime," a jazzy track that demonstrates the characteristically playful rapport between rappers Q-Tip and Phife Dawg.
February 12, 2009
On paper this week should be awesome for me: skiing this weekend, an early valentines day dinner, trivia with friends, buying vacation tickets, but for some reason I have just been feeling sort of down. I cannot put my finger on it, but there is a specter of something that I am not able to shake lately. Work and everything else seems to be moving a little too fast. The beautiful weather today in Boston really reminded me that I am growing tired of the city. Its not the people, culture or activities, but just something about being surrounded by concrete all the time is wearing on me. Maybe its not the city and just my quotidian routine, but something is getting to me. I purchased the Two Short Stories by the midwest folk outfit Jayber Crow earlier in 2008 and I listened to it over and over again among the hills of New Hampshire. Luckily, thanks to their excellent music video for Freeze and Thaw, I have started listening to Two Short Stories again recently and it has been a welcome relief. The music video is well done and very crafty (I cannot fathom how much paper cutting was accomplished) and the song Freeze and Thaw is a hopeful, uplifting slice of woodsy folk. Just what I need. O God When I Drop Dead is another frenetic folk jam from Jayber Crow that just romps all over you for a solid 2 minutes (handclaps too!).
Jayber Crow - O God When I Drop Dead (YSI) (filesavr)
Also, you may have noticed the name change from The Truth to my new moniker Zack. We are undergoing some major changes at TSRE, so keep a lookout for a major redesign and even new features in the next couple of days!!! Booyah.
Here's another lo-fi jam for driving in cars through the country
Harlem - South of France (YSI) (filesavr)
February 11, 2009
Recently got my hands on the new Charles "Jeezy" Hamilton track, Scorpion. It's the first track from his upcoming "Well Isn't This Awkward" mixtape. Story of my life.
February 10, 2009
1992. What a year. I was 6 years old and I remember absolutely nothing. I do remember that I cried in the lunchroom the first time that I had to stay for lunch in first grade. Besides my personal woes 92 was an interesting year. Clinton was elected as US president, George H. W. Bush vomited in the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister, EuroDisney opened, the Blue Jays won the World Series for the first time, the Bosnian conflict began, Pope John Paul II apologizes for the inquisition against Galileo and Dr. Dre released The Chronic.
So yeah lets all take a deep breath and remember 1992....
And scene. Here are a couple of beat heavy songs that reference 1992. Zomby is just some straight up quality dancehall techno. A short and sweet track that ends before it gets too repetitive thankfully. We definitely don't put enough of that up here and I'm sure you've heard XR2 from M.I.A. The blaring horns just make such a dirty beat. It will make you move I dare say.
Zomby - Where Were U in '92 (YSI) (filesavr)
M.I.A. - XR2 (YSI) (filesavr)
February 9, 2009
I'm constantly surprised by this blog game, and how tracks will just take off over the internet and grow a quick following. Nowhere does this surprise me more than in the remix world, where it often seems that timing is as important as anything in getting plays for your track.
February 8, 2009
We are embarking on a journey here at TSRE. New logos, t shirts and a (hopefully) new page design will all be happening soon. We have been hard at work sketching and photoshopping some great stuff. Another new experience for us is that bands have begun sending us music, which at first is a bit daunting. Such as, wow thanks so much, but now you want me to write something insightful about your artwork? I have to admit that at first I felt a little anxious about this entire process, so bear with me this first time, if you will. Hopefully as we get more music from whomever is out there reading and creating we will get better at this. We truly appreciate everything.
Butterfly Bones hail from the Bay Area and based on their myspace that I perused earlier, seem to embody many aspects of that hip yet facetious Bay Area persona that I have built up in my East Coast head. The guys from Butterfly Bones were kind enough to send me their EP Sticky Laughter along with a pretty cool poster (thanks!). After one listen I saw a little Black Moth Super Rainbow in their sonic experimentation, but there is more there, specifically so much more live instrumentation. On the opening track, Geneva in Morning Sun, Butterfly Bones interweave delicate notes with layers of lazy guitars to create a swirling atmosphere of sound. Without vocals you can just sit back and let the track wash over you and remember your own triumphant mornings from the past. Another early comparison I drew was to Deerhunter with their layers of guitar and melodic and sometimes tonal vocals. While I was not as drawn to the second track, Candywine Kissing Lips, I loved the sensation of the soaring vocals tones and hazy guitars towards the end of the third track The Ecchoing Aquatic. For me, vocals are simply another layer in the sound and here vocals do just that. Also, that title is a reference to a William Blake poem, its a good one too, nice. Vocals come back to the forefront on the final track, Juju Spider Boxing, which shows the band experimenting a little more with some funkier rhythms to good effect. Despite some repetition and dragging, Sticky Laughter is all in all an enjoyable EP where I was able to lose myself, for better or for worse. Butterfly Bones have some good ideas here and they formulate appealing hazy layers of sound if you are into that kind of music. I enjoyed it. Thanks.
Butterfly Bones - Geneva in Morning Sun (YSI) (filesavr)
Butterfly Bones - The Ecchoing Aquatic (YSI) (filesavr)
BONUS. A pretty cool, but kinda dirty Deerhunter mashup from the Hood Internet who never fail to disappoint.
The Hood Internet - Deer Assault (DJ Assault vs Deerhunter) (YSI) (filesavr)
Last night was a good night. It started with Indian food - Lamb Korma, Chicken Tikka Masala, and some big Taj Mahals. It ended with Passion Pit rocking our brains at the Middle East in Boston, playing a succinct but power-packed 40 minute set that left us sweaty and buzzing. Well, at least I was sweaty - that's just how I roll.
February 6, 2009
Time for an Outkast themed post that has been brewing for quite some time.
February 5, 2009
I guess we are sort of on a girly kick here at TSRE and I am totally on the bandwagon. I grabbed this track by La Roux from Neon Gold and its got some pretty money 80s nostalgia going on. La Roux has a powerful female voice that just rides the crap out of the heavy 80s synths in the background. Not only strident and confident, La Roux's voice is modern and hopeful all in one. I assure you that Fascination will become your next power jam guaranteed.
Next up is the absolutely ballin MSTRKRFT remix of Metric's Monster Hospital from a couple of years ago. With MSTRKRFT's patented pounding synths backing up Emily Hanes's earnest melodies this song is a classic. Hanes's voice swirls, twisting around the ferocious synths to create something dark and powerful. The lyrics are so desperate and forceful that they fit perfectly with the pulsating synths that reinforce the tone of the lyrics. This is one of my all time favorite remixes and a great get hype song to boot. Enjoy.
La Roux - Fascination (YSI) (filesavr)
Metrix - Monster Hospital (MSTRKRFT Remix) (YSI) (filesavr)
This past weekend, the Judge, devoted fan x, a bunch of friends and I went skiing up in Maine. Despite not having skied in a few years it was an amazing time. The weather was absolutely perfect and the snow was easy to ski on. It really is so nice to get out of the city for a few days, disconnect from technology and just spend time with friends. So necessary. Also, the Super Bowl was pretty fun to watch too. Upon arriving back in civilization I was overjoyed to find a new song from the Junior Boys floated around the information superhighway. I personally adore the Junior Boys. I saw them live in London once and they whipped out some instruments to replace their electronic array. The way they combine intimate half-whispers with pulsating 8-bit electro beats ranging from the club to the headphones is addictive. While not as perfect as In the Morning, the new track Parallel Lines has some great texture and is simply a well constructed pop song. Begone Dull Care, the third album from the Junior Boys is scheduled for release in April. I cannot wait.
Junior Boys - Parallel Lines (YSI) (filesavr)
February 4, 2009
February 2, 2009
The Chondola is the name of the new 6 person chairlift and gondola line at Sunday River. What a vaguely odd and suggestive name, huh? I just got back from a fun weekend skiing so I apologize for the late post today. We'll be back to regular posting tomorrow.
On our drive up to Maine on Friday, devoted fan X and I listened to the latest album from The Phantom Band, Checkmate Savage, numerous times and it did not disappoint. After finding it highly recommended on Cokemachineglow, I knew that it would be worth at least one listen, but what I found was a an album of complete immersion. From the Scottish accents to the body-shaking bass rhythms to the agile guitars, The Phantom Band is the real deal. If you are in a bad mood they will snap you out of it. If you want an album to contemplate, Checkmate Savage will make you think. If you just want to plain rock out to some sick bass lines, you got it right here. Checkmate Savage is the best epic rock album I have heard in a while, but with enough tricks and subtle weirdness to make it truly engrossing. Enjoy the music and the great weather today.
The Phantom Band - The Howling (YSI) (filesavr)
The Phantom Band - Throwing Bones (YSI) (filesavr)